Artist Spotlight: Holy Shit!

An explosive night of different rock flavors occurred at Bremen Cafe Thursday night, featuring rock and roll duo Saebra & Carlyle (who normally play with a full band), long-running punks Holy Shit!, and NYC jazz-punk band Patti.

Holy Shit! consist of vocalist Tab Conard, guitarist Andy Junk, bassist/backing vocalist Octavious Farnsworth, and drummer Eric Apnea. Formed in 2001, these guys are one of three bands originally from Green Bay (along with Aluminum Knot Eye and IfIHadAHiFi) that migrated to Milwaukee in the early 2000’s and are still active today.

“We formed right around this time of year, actually,” Conard said.

“Green Bay was quite a lot of fun and then started to suck and rolled out the red carpet,” Junk added. “We moved down to Milwaukee because there was more energy down here, for sure.”

Junk shares his thoughts on the scene as it has evolved throughout their run.

“The underground scene has always been amazing here,” Junk said. “Basements have kept it active. We’ve always had consistent basement shows ever since we moved down; we’ve lived in them before all our bandmates were old enough to bartend. I always feel it’s going in a good direction. We got it good here…shut the fuck up about it.”

“It’s only gonna get easier with the new laws for all-ages venues,” Conard added. “That’s a big step forward.”

Their new record “Not My Tempo” came out this past April – their seventh full-length album on their own and eleventh including splits they have done. The title comes from the movie “Whiplash.”

“We were all on a flight to Japan and were all watching the movie at the same time,” Conard explained. “It just kind of became a running joke with us throughout that tour, then it evolved into that. We recorded it at the Ground Zero basement with Eric Mayer; it couldn’t have gone better as far as ease and comfort go. It definitely exceeded my expectations. We had to rush to get it pressed for our Japanese tour, so we sacrificed a little bit of quality, I guess.”

The band was on this Japanese (and Vietnamese) tour in April around when they released the record.

“It went amazing,” Conard reflected. “It was our fourth time in Japan and first time in Vietnam. Our friend Matty booked the shows in Vietnam – he booked one in Ho Chi Minh City…that was really crazy and awesome and eclectic. He got food poisoning and couldn’t come with us to Hanoi the next day.”

“It’s funny that no matter where we go we somehow seem to attract people that think they can out-drink us,” Junk laughed. “Especially in Asia, whether it’s our old buddy Matty or some random dude out there.”

The band hopes to tour Europe eventually.

“We really want to,” Junk said. “We’re waiting for the opportunity. Eric just toured there in a band called Trampoline Team – he played drums for them out there a couple months ago, and he said there’s a lot of people that want us to play in Italy. I have my vacation days open next year, if something can be arranged.”

Holy Shit! says they will continue writing songs and hanging in the basement for the next few months. They play High Dive with Beach Burial and Peroxide on November 14th.

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